The Power of Like, Laugh, Learn, and Appreciate

14.02.2019 |

Episode #7 of the course Mastering your conversations by Jordan Thibodeau


“Positive energy knows no boundaries. If everyone were to spread positive energy on the internet, the world would be a much better place.” —Lu Wei

Welcome back!

As we learned yesterday, conversation hooks are great ways to get a conversation going. But once we are inside a conversation, what do we say? Today, we are going to learn how to get the most out of your conversations with like, laugh, learn, and appreciate. It’s a simple technique that will make the person you’re speaking to happy, as well as their friends and family.


Our Conversations Transmit Knowledge and Emotion

As soon as our conversation is over, that person will take what they have learned from the conversation and share it throughout their network. However, information is not the only thing that is shared. How you make others feel also spreads across their network, known as Emotional Contagion. At the end of the day, you aren’t just speaking with the person in front of you. You are speaking with their friends, family, colleagues, club members, and a host of other groups that they are members of. How you make that person feel dictates how the other people in their network feel. According to the book Connected, a person is 15% more likely to be happy if they are connected to a happy person. The spread of happiness works for two degrees of separation. If a friend of a friend is happy, you are 10% more likely to be happy.


So, What Does This Mean for a Conversationalist?

Your goal is, at the very least, to avoid passing on negative vibes in your conversations and, at the most, make people feel good. It doesn’t mean you become a perennially positive person who avoids conflict at all costs. But it does mean that in the few minutes you have with a person, you should share something that will have a positive impact on their lives.

Now, this positive feelings talk might sound like New Age mumbo jumbo, but research from the Mayo Clinic shows that positive thinking leads to increased life span, lower rates of depression, and better cardiovascular health [1]. So with a positive conversation, you’re actually making people feel emotionally better and healthier.


So, How Do We Do This?

Welcome to the party: Like, laugh, learn, and appreciate. When you engage with someone, consider sharing the things you like, have learned, or that have made you laugh. This is a great way to break the ice in a conversation and set the tone for the interaction.

Like: Share a recent positive experience with the other person. Did you
recently see a good movie? Have you read a good book? Did you have a great meal at a restaurant?

Laugh: Think of something that has made you laugh recently. Did you hear a good joke? Did something funny happen to you in the last few days?

Learn: If you learned something that helped you grow, share it! Did you learn something from a book? Did you experience something that provided you with a helpful takeaway?

Appreciate: Similar to “Like,” but this deserves its own section because people are starving for sincere validation. Did the person do something for you that was great? Did they recently get promoted? Did they work hard on a project? We are starved for appreciation, and people need to hear that they have an impact in this world.

Most people don’t think in these terms. They interact with others, and instead of filling them with joy, they emote negativity. If you can remember, “like, laugh, learn, and appreciate,” people will feel great each time they speak with you, which means they will come back for more.


To Do:

1. Before you speak, pick something from “like, laugh, learn, and appreciate” that you can use for your conversation.

2. The next conversation you have with someone, share this idea with them. See how they react and if it lifts their spirits.

Tomorrow, we will learn how to deepen our relationships through meaningful conversations.

Jordan Thibodeau

Conversation Mentor



[1] Positive Thinking: Stop Negative Self-Talk to Reduce Stress


Recommended books

Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives—How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler

Real Influence: Persuade without Pushing and Gain without Giving In by Mark Goulston and Dr. John Ullmen


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